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June 21, 2022 Executive Committee minutes

Attending: Sharron Bouquin, Shane Brogan, Jen DeNeal, Shayla Evans-Hollingsworth, Stephanie Forman, Shayna Hill, Keith Hines, James Holman, Kira Jones, Arlene Medder, Katie Musgrove, Laura Pratt, James Stamey, Tracy Wetherby Williams, Jacob Womack

Excused: L.E. Alexander, Brigitte Ironside, Alice Whiteside

Chair Katie Musgrove called the meeting to order at 11:30 a.m. She called for a motion to approve the May minutes of the committee. Laura Pratt moved that the minutes be approved, with an addendum from Arlene Medder. Medder seconded the motion, which was approved without opposition.

Tracy Wetherby Williams and Matt Banks presented the Forum’s budget report for June. Banks said that the UNC System Office has not reimbursed the Forum for travel expenses for the Staff Assembly Vice Chair associated with the 2021 Chancellors’ Cup golf tournament. He noted that the Forum budget had run around $50 in the red this fiscal year. He had written OHR Business Officer Cheryl Gerringer to note the deficit and the reasons behind it. The Chair noted that Spring 2022 professional development grant expenses which normally would fall in fiscal year 2023 were addressed this fiscal year instead.

Laura Pratt asked if the Forum had received approval yet for next year’s budget. The Chair said that the Forum has asked for an exception to pay for food at the upcoming retreat. The Forum has submitted its annual budget request but has not yet received word of approval. Similarly, the Forum has not received a final confirmation that the university will absorb costs associated with the 30th anniversary event in October.

At this point, the committee discussed planning for the July annual retreat, which would take place over two days on July 13th and 14th. Matt Banks shared the results of a Qualtrics survey of delegates that found a plurality of interest in an in-person meeting at the Outdoor Education Center on the first day of the retreat. The Chair shared a preliminary agenda for discussion by the committee. Matthew Teal proposed that the Forum begin discussions of the University’s five-year transit plan.

Laura Pratt raised the issue of follow-through related to goalsetting that might occur at the retreat. The Chair agreed that intentionality in this area is important. She proposed capturing these goals in the Forum’s annual report. Members discussed possibilities for a resolution or proclamation discussion at the retreat. Shayna Hill raised the possibility of a statement on university career banding.

Kira Jones raised the question of a Forum response to the Dobbs Supreme Court decision. She thought that the Forum could become an important part of this conversation, particularly considering the lack of a position at the head of the Carolina Women’s Center.

The Chair recalled that the administration had discussed this question at a recent leadership retreat, raising the question of how officials would speak out and whether to take a position for the university. Jones suggested that the Forum be blunt about the potential problems facing university employees in this area. This step would at least acknowledge the frustration and concern that employees feel.

The Chair recalled that the Forum has made similar statements regarding national issues in a letter rather than a resolution or proclamation. Shayna Hill suggested that the Forum’s response focus on rights that employees stand to lose and how this event will impact the campus workplace. The Chair asked that Jones and Hill work on creating a proclamation on the Dobbs decision along these lines.

Jacob Womack cautioned about resolutions calling for action from campus administration on this subject, warning of potential blowback. He supported the idea of a proclamation over a resolution. Members discussed the content of the proclamation as background for its eventual authors. Womack stressed the importance of representing not only delegates’ own interests, but also those of the entire constituency of faculty and staff. Shayna Hill recalled the success of the small group discussions on the Silent Sam issue. Sharron Bouquin voiced support for the idea of speaking about the welfare of staff affected by the decision. The Chair thanked Kira Jones for bringing this issue forward.

Members turned to a discussion of catering options for the July retreat. Following this discussion, the decision was made to postpone discussion of 30th anniversary preparations. The Chair then presented a draft document of the Forum’s annual report, inviting comment and edits from other members. Members provided feedback on the structure and content of the document. The Chair obtained help from various committee members to provide rewrites of various sections.

The Chair noted plans for the August general meeting, which hopefully will include a presentation from Transportation & Parking Executive Director Cheryl Stout. Laura Pratt suggested University Librarian Maria Estorino as another presenter. The next Vice Chancellors’ meeting will take place August 11th.

The committee heard updates from various Forum committees. Shayna Hill spoke regarding upcoming plans for the September 27th Chancellors’ Cup golf tournament. She noted working with Staff Assembly representatives on this project. Keith Hines reported on progress related to personal observance leave and associated leave hours in the Assembly. He said that the Assembly has yet to receive guidance on the upcoming 2.5% raise from the state.

For Communications and Public Relations, the Chair asked members to submit their articles for publication in the newsletter InTouch soon. Jacob Womack had no report from the Community Service committee. Arlene Medder updated the committee on Community Garden activities.

Jen DeNeal said that the Carolina Blood Drive collected 510 units at its summer event, with almost 20% of all volunteers serving for the first time. Units collected were immediately put into use by the Red Cross. DeNeal was pleased to collect blood that was urgently needed. She hoped that FDA and Red Cross blood donation rules will hopefully be more inclusive in the future. Members congratulated DeNeal and wished her well in her new endeavors in Michigan.

Janet Steele hoped to find a co-chair for the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion committee in the next few weeks. Laura Pratt noted that Education and Career Development co-chair L.E. Alexander is due to have a baby this fall. The Chair hoped to find a way to reduce the leadership workload on Pratt, given that she has committed to co-chairing the Blood Drive and Recognition & Awards committees this year. The committee discussed eligibility rules for Carolina Family Scholarship international applicants.

The Chair said that she would reach out to the Chancellor’s Office and University Events regarding the Rebecca Clark award recipient details. There was no report from the Membership & Assignments committee.

Stephanie Forman reported that the Personnel Issues committee would hold its next meeting June 26th and the following July 18th. This latter meeting will feature Vice Chancellor Becci Menghini and Senior Associate Vice Chancellor Linc Butler to discuss career development for employees. The Chair offered ideas on the Carolina Next process related to these issues.

In the absence of further discussion, the meeting adjourned at 11:32 a.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Matt Banks, Recording Secretary

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